Old. New. Borrowed. Blue.

Something Old


May 31, 1991

Karen called to torment me. She moved out of her parent’s house and broke off her engagement. She asked for restaurant recommendations because she’s coming to New York with some guy. [She lived in Philadelphia.] She told me they’re staying at the Omni Berkshire. I have no idea why she included that tidbit. She said she’s been thinking about me and wants to get together. Afterwards, she went outside to burn up ants with sunlight and a magnifying glass and pour table salt on garden slugs, that whore. I think I love her.

Landis called me into his office. He told me to call the animal hospital where his dog is and ask for the nearest pharmacy. Then I’m supposed to call the pharmacy and see if they stock the medication his dog needs. If they do, I’m instructed to arrange to have it delivered to the hospital. If the pharmacy doesn’t stock it, I’m to call all the area pharmacies until I find one that does and arrange delivery. And what does any of this have to do with graphic design? As if I needed another reason to hate dogs more than I do already.

I went back to my desk and stewed in my loserdom for about :20 minutes. Then I walked back into his office fully expecting to be fired and told him I’d prefer to keep what little scrap of dignity I have left and not be an errand boy for his FUCKING DOG. I didn’t say fucking dog. I just said dog. He said, “Oh. Okay.” And that was the end of it.

Gerri said she can’t wait to get married because she’s sick of being lonely. She said there are no men in her life and it’s driving her crazy. All of our nights out and the numerous dinners I’ve cooked mean nothing to her. All she needs to do is look across the table. I’m going after Karen. She might sleep with me. Gerri never will. Valerie said to be patient. She said that in time, everything will be revealed to me through divine provenance. She’s very religious.

Well, I’ve been down so Goddamn long
That it looks like up to me

Last month, I submitted a sample for a writing workshop and when I read the acceptance letter I got all choked up. My assumption was that there were so few entries that everyone was accepted or that mine was accepted in error. The class is only 12 people.

On the first day I asked Glenda, the woman running the show, if my piece was selected by default or if there were actually more than 12 people who applied. She said there’s a waiting list of people hoping for cancellations and many more who were never considered. She said the fact that I think so little of my abilities is an important first step in becoming a published writer. Very funny. She asked if I intended to stay in class this time. I didn’t think she’d remember. I’m going to have to grind it out. Nine weeks. Ugh. I read an article about the woman who wrote Thelma and Louise. She didn’t know anything about the mechanics of writing a screenplay so she bought a “how to” book and banged the whole thing out in only six months. Six months!

Something New

When visiting PetSmart to load-up on supplies, 9-year old daughter always selects a new chew toy. Recently, she came home with this:


Seriously? I’ll bet the boys back in the molding plant are having a jolly chuckle. Living in a house full of women isn’t emasculating enough. I have to look up from my reading chair and watch this:


Something Borrowed (from Charles Boukowski)



In other words, as you lose the desire to create, the mundane takes over. I’ve trashed a half dozen blog posts that just sat there like dead lumps of nothing. Bored by the sound of my own voice.

Something Blue

This is Left Bank Books on 8th Avenue in Greenwich Village. Rare, second-hand and out-of-print books. Heaven on earth.


Or, rather…it was.


Once again, Jeff Bezos has blood on his hands. The Catullus quote means “Hail and Farewell.” This gave me the deep blue blues for days.

88 thoughts on “Old. New. Borrowed. Blue.

  1. I was getting worried. Glad it’s just a slump. (Though not glad it’s a slump.) I hate the sound of my writing voice most of the time. That’s why I change it up, take on a satirical persona, or for radio literally change my voice. It’s a form of cowardice, really. You’re more honest than I am, that’s your problem.
    I can see you stewing at your desk over the dog errand. I know that stew, have the recipe, in fact.
    Glad to hear from you.

      • It’s funny how it turns out most published authors are actually quite good. I say “most.” I just finished “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Book Store,” which was recommended by friends. Ugh. Some friends.

      • I have a new rule. If a book isn’t working for me, I bail out. Do you know how much time I’ve wasted waiting for books to improve when they never do? That’s how my wife’s been doing it for years. She’s got the right idea. Life is too short, etc.

      • Luckily this book was short and I was in a superficial frame of mind after a recent bit of a slog. I agree with you on the bail method, though.

    • I’m sorry I’m late and now causing an unnatural fuss, but I felt the same about missing your posts Mark, even wondered if something was wrong, and was kind of glad something was — but a normal-wrong — and I’ve been in a similar funk, which must happen to all of us. But you sound great here. There’s something dark and sinister, and possibly healthy and productive, about being self-conscious with your voice. To your point, and your wife’s, about bailing on books, I bailed on “Stranger in a Strange Land” after like 400 pages. Just couldn’t stand his dated sound any more. And had the edition his daughter put out, the unedited version, that has like 200 more pages in it. And I think the reference to read it came from a comment you made on one of my posts way back. Wow, some friends. But seriously, nice to see you again.

      • Sorry you’re late? Is that all you’ve got to say for yourself? How dare you!

        Seriously, pal, that’s very thoughtful but wholly unnecessary. The break was nice. I got some reading done (the non-blog type) and finally posted something when I wanted to. Not because eight days had passed.

        I used to call my wife out for bailing out on books. I told her it wasn’t respectful to the author. She was right all along.

        I’m sorry to hear about your funk. We should form a support group.

        Oh…wait…we already have.

  2. Good to see you back, Mark. I’ve missed your voice. Your post has a beauty all its own and I bet you don’t recognize it. Starting with the dog errands and then seeing a dog (your dog or the family dog) chewing on this most delightful toy! See the circular pathways at work with its own divine energy. 🙂 Nothing mundane here. Whatever happened with that writing class? Sorry about the bookstore. That is sad, indeed. On another note, I live with all boys. I feel your pain in the opposite direction.

    • Thanks, Amy. That’s very nice of you to say. Everything I’ve been drafting is JUNK. Not having any bullets in your chamber is pretty irritating. Regarding dogs, I see a common thread running through my life and it’s not a great one. As far as the class, the truth is, prior to this reminder, I didn’t remember it. I’ve always had a fatal lack of ambition so it probably just fell to the wayside. Motivation problems. We should form a support group. Outnumbered Annon.

      • I’m sure whatever you wrote wasn’t junk. Even if it was, sometimes junk can be more enlightening. I think you should go get a cat! Today. Do it.

      • If it were up to me I’d get TWO cats. Today. One is not enough. Three is too many. But it’d be like coming home to WWIII every night. The dog wouldn’t tolerate it.

  3. Good for you for sticking up to your boss about his dog errands. Many of us wouldn’t have dared do that when we were younger. (I’m assuming you were in your twenties then?)

    So funny about the chew toy and your emasculating comment. Thanks for the laugh-out-loud. Always needed on a Monday!

    • I was just a tyke when that happened (well…not exactly) and it took all my nerve to walk into that office and refuse the task at hand. I was genuinely terrified but he didn’t give a damn at all. Thought nothing of it. Glad you found the chew toy amusing. I read too much into it, as usual.

  4. I had missed you.
    I wonder…if, 30 years from now, your daughter has a daughter who buys such toys for her pooch…will she smile to recall the innocence of this one?

  5. Truly impressed by the strength you showed, standing up for yourself with your boss.
    Also, the chew toy was hilarious. Probably shouldn’t have read it at work. That cackle of laughter was hard to explain.

  6. Karen tormented you on purpose. Hope you shagged her to prove a point. Religious Gerri was never going to put out without a ring and not the one you’re thinking of.

    Well done back then for getting in the top dirty dozen!

    On to the current. A penis chew….right…

    Sad about the book shop. I’m not so keen on the future if it doesn’t hang on to nostalgia with pride.

    • I hope Karen enjoyed her bold-faced cruelty. I think she was just a confused kid at the time but that doesn’t fill me with forgiveness. It all seems pretty amusing now but those were not fund times.

      So it does look like a penis, right? I’m not just imagining it? Sometimes a dog toy is just a dog toy but I think something else is going on here.

      That was such a great little shop. I’d make a point of visiting and buying something every time I was in the neighborhood. Apparently, it wasn’t enough.

  7. Oh Mark, Mark, Mark. Sigh. OK, well let’s start from the beginning, If you’ve read Ned’s post today on writers, you will realize that you ARE a writer. hands down, no holds barred, guaranteed, no doubt – you are the real thing. Reading your posts makes that very clear to me. As Ned points out you either have it or you don’t and if you don’t you can’t get it and if you do then you can improve with courses and such – sort of hone a given skill – but you can’t shake it.You will write regardless of whether you like it or not. And the writer you named who read a book on writing was already a writer – many write without any courses.

    That said – Dogs at work. Dogs hold a special emotional relationship with their owners. I take it as a statement of trust and honor when anyone asks me to take care of their dog. i gotta tell you that regardless of my job – from floor sweeper to manager, I’ve been involved with the boss’s dog. I’ve gotten supplies, taken them to vet appointments, fed and babysat them, transported them, etc. i see it as an honor and it has stood me in good stead. I was never terminated from a job where I helped with the boss’s dog. Besides I love dogs and am more than happy spending an afternoon at the vet’s. I have met some vicious dogs that I wouldn’t get close to but most just want to be liked.

    Something borrowed, something new, something blue – what you getting married or something? By the way – plastic dog chews in the shape of a vagina are available if you wish: http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/2016-Hot-pet-novelty-items-dog_60431179463.html?spm=a2700.7724838.0.0.4lBqhE

    Ha! Fun post Mark – I can sense your frustration, I suspect we all go through that. sometimes – rest assured you are a writer.

    • Howdy, Paul. First and foremost, thank you, as always, for the thoughtful commentary. You’re a credit to the community.

      Charles Bukowski has a great poem about how you’re going to write no matter what. It’s in your blood. Take a minute and read this beauty.


      This is writing thing is something I pussy-footed around for decades but I never took it seriously. Can you get paid to write is the 800-pound gorilla in the room. I never thought I could. That probably shouldn’t have mattered to me but it did.
      As far as the dog, it really felt like I was being condescended to. He didn’t ask as a favor. He made it sound like he couldn’t be bothered. And if I bought that dog toy you linked to, I’d be in the dog house myself for a long, long time. And deservedly so!

      • Bwahaha! I figured that you could at least tell the amused females that vagina dog toys are also available and you had seen them – sexist our world is. I read the Charles Bukowski piece -so very true. Many bosses always sound condescending – it is just the way of a less than competent boss. The fact that he gave up so easy says to me that it was a personal request and not an order – even though he framed it as an order. Yes,the 800 pound gorilla is making a living.Those old diary entries of yours are excellent and could easily be bundled into a book.

      • The difference between those two dog toys is that the one I bought isn’t supposed to look like a penis. It’s a strange, twisted coincidence. The one you linked to is is frighteningly intentional. My 9-year old would never recover. Nor my wife.

      • Sorry, I didn’t realize your girls were so young – when you said they were amused, I thought they were laughing at the genital resemblance. Sorry.

      • Oh, no worries, sir. None at all. My nine-year-old has no idea why I’m laughing at the dog’s chew toy. I don’t even think the 14-year-old has picked up on it yet. At this point, it’s been chewed beyond recognition.

  8. Gee whiz. The writing is dang good and I knew it all along. You have been in writng classes and clearly you know how to keep a reader interested. I must say that the women you knew played hell with your ego at times.

    That poor dog., She has no idea that folks are laughing about her chew toy. Heck I’ve seen worse than that. I know, she is the bitch that has bitten you several times. She knows you hate dogs. Really, animals sense when some one is anxious or doesn’t like them.

    Great post as usual.

    • To quote Rod Stewart ( who knew a thing or two about women), the women I’ve known I wouldn’t let tie my shoe. They wouldn’t give you the time of day. It was my fault for chasing after women who weren’t interested and ignoring the ones who were. An old story.

      That poor dog?! I’m not sure I understand you. That poor dog doesn’t live in a cage and has two little girls who love her. Poor me, you mean! I’ve got at least another 8-10 years of putting up with her.

      • I didn’t mean that the dog is pitiful, literally.Yes, I meant y0u. But she is great for your girls and they are great for her. The puppy dog’s got a wonderful home. I don’t always write exactly what my thoughts are/were. I stand corrected. I hope. 🙂

  9. Your dead lumps of nothing are better than 99% of the stuff I put out there, so stop being douchey. I just called you douchey… sorry. It’s the Monday beer speaking.

    What became of the writing workshop? Did you stick it out? I’d like to hear that story.

    I have a relative who swears that print is dead. I first heard that term in Ghostbusters. Egon. It made me sad then. It makes me sad now. Print is dying, but the tactile sensation of books will never die. We’re ingrained with it. They can shut down our bookstores, but they can’t shut down our instincts towards the better parts of our nature.

    • Hello, Trent. You wouldn’t say that about my dead lumps of nothing if you had to read them. They were really, really bad. I couldn’t unleash that kind of mediocrity on the poor, unsuspecting blogosphere. They’d have revoked my membership.

      I don’t recall the writing workshop. I think I attended a few when I first got to NYC but none of them amounted to anything. I had a lethal combination of laziness and fear of failure. It’s my big regret. I should’ve at least tried.

      My girls still prefer books, thank God, but that’s because they watch their old man. Most kids can’t be bothered. They SAY bookstores are making a small comeback but I don’t buy it.

      • I call bullshit on you. You’ve never issued a single post I didn’t have some fondness for. And some are just plain super. I never reblog anything. I’ve reblogged two of your posts. I think you’re hands above a lot of stuff on the blogosphere, mine included, and I’m sticking by that opinion. So give us your lumps of nothing and we’ll see what they amount to.

        I hear you on the workshop. That’s really sad, but not, I suspect, too late eh?

      • Nope, not too late. As Herr X points out above, it’s not like tennis or gymnastics. You can come to the writing game pretty late and still play to win. It’s enough to fill one with hope.

  10. That dog toy is hilarious. Is your dog male or female? If we’re talking female, her chewing on that phallus with you in the room might be her way of saying, “I hate you, too, buster!”

    You kept journals years ago. Do you keep notes when you’re inspired now? I used to write in a small Moleskine notebook that I still carry with me everywhere, but in recent years, I’ve been writing notes in my iPhone’s notepad app. I read through my notepad app recently and I have so much material in there, it was very inspiring. I’m not blocked. I’ve just been very tired or as The Misogynist with the Awful Combover might say, I’ve been “low energy.” My recent move, my longer commute to The Grind has taken a toll on me. That’s my excuse.

    Milton and I are seeing “American Psycho” on Wednesday. We got the $19.89 promotional tickets (with a $2 facility fee). I ushered Anne Washburn’s “Antlia Pneumatica” over the weekend. This one was more miss than hit, but I was intrigued. I thought Brantley came down too hard on it. Have you seen Kenneth Lonergan’s “Hold Onto Me Darling” at the Atlantic? I loved that play. What happens at the end of the last act was so spot-on between the protagonist and another character I was not expecting to see. Can he write! Later this month, Milton and I are seeing “The Crucible”. We’re very psyched. We both thought that Ivo Van Hove’s stripped down take on “A View from the Bridge” was brilliant. I was worried that that one might be pretentious, so I was pleasantly surprised that it was not.

    • Oh, c’mon. Need you ask? The dog is FEMALE, of course. It couldn’t possibly be any other way. And we both know we dislike one another. She has the upper hand, though. That’s what’s so irritating.

      I don’t keep journals now because, truthfully, my life has a sameness about it. There’s nothing to journal ABOUT. Way back when, I was a broken denizen of NYC. Lots to write about then. Now? Not so much. I blog. Does that count? Would it kill you to post once in a while?

      I *had* a $19.89 ticket to Am Psycho but had to give it up because a family commitment came up. No skin off my nose. I wasn’t all that jacked-up about it. I haven’t seen the Lonergan play but it’s on my A list. I’ve got ‘Crucible’ tix for next week and, believe it or not ‘Hamilton’ in about three weeks. I have a pal whose wealthy mom contributed money to The Actor’s Fund for years and he get face-value house seats through her. Did you see ‘Buried Child’? Harris and Madigan gave a master class on how it’s done. Saw ‘The Royal’ and liked it but there was a draggy part in the middle. Did you get ‘Orpheus Descending’ tix like I instructed? Don’t wait! Finally, make DAMN SURE you see Frank Langella in ‘The Father.’ And the Tony goes to…

      • Wow, your ENTIRE household is Estrogen Central, but I suppose you don’t need me to remind you about that. If you get approval to get your cat, I suggest it be a male and you name him Brutus. The dog would probably bitch her brains out in the beginning, but after a while or 6 years (whatever comes first), I think she’ll calm down and might even appreciate the company. My sister’s dog, Thurber is insanely anti-cat and the king of his castle, but my brother thinks that even a maniac like Thurber could adapt. The only reason my sister doesn’t get a cat is that I’m deathly allergic to the kitties – quite a liability for a lesbian.

        I’m not suggesting you write a journal. I’m suggesting you write notes. Whenever inspiration or a phrase occurs to you, jot it down. Even my friend Milton is having a hard time believing that I can’t even crank out a post a month. Maybe I’ll write a new one in the not too distant future.

        We saw ‘Buried Child’ and we thought they were great, too. Milton has a nasty virus that’s been a problem for him to shake (yes, he’s gone to the doctor), so we have to cut back on our show-going until he’s fully recovered. He might have to miss AP tomorrow night. Believe me, that horrifies him!

      • Did you see ‘Old Hats.’ I brought my daughters into the city for that one. So fun. I’ll see pretty much anything the Signature does. It’s the best space in Manhattan. I’m actually a subscriber, which is a very, very thing rare because of my broke ass. Did you see the AP TV commercial? It’s pretty slick and badass. I’m surprised you’d have anything to do with that show. Women end up on the wrong end of torture devices. Do you enter the online lottery for Hamilton tix? I do. Every day. I actually bought the soundtrack and think it’s great. And what do you mean you’re allergic to cats? You’re going to have to turn in your LGBT union card.

        I am drowning in the estrogen sea. Glub. Blub. Glub.

      • My friend liked American Psycho more than he thought he would, which is kind of a back-handed compliment. He loved the first act and thought the second act serviceable enough.

      • Independent book stores are wonderful! Sadly we don’t have any in Dubai but I loved the ones in London. It will be a sad day when we are over run with Borders and Barnes and Noble!

      • London has GREAT bookstores! More than New York.I used to think Borders and Barnes & Noble were the culprits. The ones that put small independent stores out of business. But now I feel bad for THOSE guys! There are only a few B&N left in NYC and Borders have gone completely belly-up. It’s a tragic spiral.

        I’d love to visit Dubai one day. Interesting architecture, I hear.

  11. You’re back! I was worried you were having a mid-life crisis. So you were dating Gerri even though you knew she wouldn’t sleep with you? I didn’t realise you were capable of such gentlemanly behaviour! Was she against sex before marriage?

    • I *WAS* HAVING A MIDLIFE CRISIS! I was *chasing* Gerri. “Dating” implies there was some kind of reciprocality going on and there wasn’t. Ever. Gerri was against sex WITH ME before marriage. I saw her in and out of a few boyfriends. Just not me. I never understood it. What’s not to love?

  12. Glad to see you back, sweetpea! You’re good, you are! 😉 I’ve been feeling a tad melancholy, so I’ve not been blogging. Today I did and I’m starting to think I should have an editor to red line my writing! *arrggh* xoxox

    • Here’s what I’ve learned: you sure as hell can’t force the issue. Go ahead and force yourself to do a blog post. See what you get. Do you know what I get? Horesshit. It’s not worth the time. Let it flow or not.

  13. It’s funny. I get to the end of your posts and want to comment so you know I read it and liked it… but, you’ve usually covered everything I want to say, or have already touched on it in the comments since I’m always late to the party.
    So, here I am with nothing to say…
    But, your writing deserves more than that.
    So, what shall I do?

    I went to see Springsteen last month. Finally. My first Boss show. And, I went with my dad, the Queen, and a friend. A nice little group of fans with good camaraderie. It was enjoyable. I will admit that I think I had built up the occasion too much in my mind and there was no way it could reach those lofty heights. Interestingly though, because I can recognize I went in thinking it would be the greatest show I’d ever seen, I’m not disappointed that it wasn’t… If that makes sense. It makes sense to me, and perhaps that is all that matters.

    You should continue to keep journals, and yes even if there is a sameness about your day. I think you will find that there are moments worth capturing even within the routines. Your blog definitely counts, but if there is ever stuff that is too personal to share here, you should be writing it down elsewhere. And I should take my own advice.

    Anyway, back on point, you are a great writer. I am always entertained when I stop by here.

    • Well, that’s very nice of you, sir. Thanks. I’ll take your kind nothings any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

      Your analogy of the Springsteen show is spot-on. There’s an inherent danger in creating a myth. Myths are hard to live up to becuase they’re not all that truthy. I saw him again at Madison Square Garden last week and like every other time I’ve seen him, it was thoroughly enjoyable but just a tad long for me. You’ve got to hand it to that guy. He gives you your money’s worth.

      The funny thing is that when I was keeping these journals…the ones I post here…I thought my life was ordinary and that nothing much was happeneing. Just like right now.

      Never take your own advice! Are you crazy?! Who does that? It’s suicide.

  14. I wish your journals were one long book and I could sit down and dive into the deliciousness of them.

    The closing of the bookstore makes me sad. It also makes me think of a delightful one in Victoria which had its own cat who liked to sun his belly in the front window.

    I read your comment above about bailing on books. I started this practice about 2 years ago and wish I had done it sooner. I give a book about 50 pages usually, but have cut out sooner on some. Life is too short to read bad books!

    • Yeah, I think I’m going to work on that. It might take the rest of my days and it’d be the only manuscript I’ll ever assemble, but I’m going to try.

      ALL decent bookstores have cats. It’s a requirement.

      Honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking with my persistance. And the bad thing about a book that’s not working is that it takes FOREVER to finish it because you’re not motivated. So stupid of me.

      • I guess to me it felt like I was failing if I stopped reading. I should have thought my time is too precious to waste on drivel and tripe. 🙂

  15. To paraphrase the Hold Steady’s Craig Finn, “Marky was a hoodrat/ and now you finally know that/ he’s been disappearing for years/ today he finally came back…”

    Feel better? I laugh when you disappear, it’s nothing knew for us old heads, was perusing the old lounge posts and realized it’s going on 6 or 7 years of this witty repartee we’ve had, though i won’t stroke that ego of yours, there’s enough of that stuff already going on up above, and a man can only be stroked so much… or something like that… and once while at the Big World Bank Machine i had a hot shot VP order me to wash her and detail her personal car, i laughed and went back to my desk to read some more Pynchon, that was the end of that. (No i didn’t get fired, i informed my boss, another VP and let the big wigs work it out).

    • That’s a well-placed quote. Nice work. I come and go like a breeze. Or a sewer whisp. I don’t do it on purpose so I can hear people say nice things about me, but that’s a pleasant by-product. I’ll take it.

      It was exactly the kind of corporation that hires managers who try to find people to do their personal bidding. I don’t miss it. In his defense, he didn’t fire me and took my insubordination well.

      • I just realized i wrote “wash her”, she was not beyond that realm at the Big World Bank Machine, she had her boy toys for sure i just wasn’t one of them, i know your ways, and i know you’ll come back sooner or later, now it’s time to get more painting done, the work kind not the fun kind…

  16. I remember those days. Always trying to get laid and thinking my dignity is being tested by the man. That dog toy is XXX rated and could be found in the sex accessory store. Please don’t wait so long to post. If you don’t like what you have written, then post some art pictures for us to enjoy.

    • I was doing exactly what I thought I was SUPPOSED to be doing. Bukowski has a great poem about how there are worse things in life than being alone, but the time you realize it, it’s too late. And there’s nothing worse than too late.

      Thanks for your kind words. Everyone is being so nice. I didn’t stop posting to just to test everyone’s patience or fish for compliments when I came back. I didn’t have any bullets in the chamber.

  17. I quite like a three part post. It’s nice to know you are still with us. I can quite see why that dog could get up our nose and you can’t really look him in the eyes to wither him with a look. So sad about the book shop.

    • I like these small gaggle of ideas. Chances are there’s SOMETHING here that’s bound to amuse. The bookshop closing made me sadder that it should’ve but that’s how I felt. I always mourn a death in the family.

  18. Ha Ha Ha!!! That chew!!! I wonder who designed that, and what were they thinking?
    All those women in your early life were after you…. you just had to make the first move.

  19. I miss seeing you around. I know I’m a few days late getting to this post, but I did see it pop in the other day and thought – ooh good, Mark is posting again. We all go through those blog slumps, I don’t like it when the ones I like don’t come back from them though. I like your old-new-borrowed-blue theme today, I thought it might lead to some kind of wedding announcement, but couldn’t work out whose seeing as you are already married and your girls are too young. So you’ve NEVER had confidence in your writing ability then?

    Your dog chew reminded me of something. A while back I was given a set of party-shape cookie cutters, like a balloon shape, a cake shape, a gift shape. There was one shape that I eventually worked out was a party horn (one of those that you blow into, it makes a sound and the paper thing uncurls when it fills with air?). Anyway, the cookie cutter looks like this (hopefully this link will work, I think in the past when I’ve shared a link like this it doesn’t seem to work from a phone, but should do from a computer) – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200337185093416&l=3f89957a3a

    • Hi, Vanessa. Thanks for your kind words. People out here in the blogosphere are very nice to me. I’m not looking for sympathy or fishing for compliments, but I’ve never really had confidence in anything I do, really. I talk a pretty good game but that’s all surface. I think that’s what accounts for so many unsuccessful attempts at hooking-up in my past. Women can see that stuff straight away and it’s not very sexy, is it? I’ve improved over the years but still, to this day, think my writing is fairly pedestrian.

      The facebook link is hysterical. I don’t feel so odd for having thought the chew toy looked like something that shouldn’t be chewed.

  20. “All of our nights out and the numerous dinners I’ve cooked mean nothing to her. All she needs to do is look across the table.”

    Do you know Mark, it actually helps to know that other halfway reasonable men — as both you and me are, on a good day — get this kind of treatment.

    Sorry for the slight hint of self-pity there, but it is monumentally frustrating to be cast as a social worker when you’d prefer “boyfriend”.

    • It’s as old as the old testament and probably older. You want what you can’t have and what wants you isn’t very interesting, is it? It’ll go on long after we’re gone. That’s cold comfort, I know.

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